Tuesday, December 7, 2010

California here we come!

(My brother, cousin and I at Avila beach a few years ago)

In about two weeks, Andy, Lu and I will hop on a very long plane ride to fly to the land of my birth, California. We will be hanging out with my family for Christmas and new years, showing off Luthien and trying to catch up with my huge extended family. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and being in the state I grew up in. I haven't been back in two years! Yep, the last time I saw the Sierra Nevada mountains was two Christmasses ago when I first brought Andy home to meet my family!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh life

It has been a while for me and my blog! Life has been quite busy lately (really it’s always busy with the intrepid crawler living in house!). Here’s an update of our house:
1) I have a job which I already posted about. It is going very well and I’m learning a lot. I may be a semi-techi person if they help me get ITILv3 certified which I hope for since it would make me quite marketable. We have all adjusted a little to help me do my job (currently 20 hours a week). During the day I usually work at the coffee table sitting on the floor so I can be close Lu—stop to tickle her chin, play with her, keep her content. She seems to like it when I’m close like that, although she likes to come and stand on my lap (to see what I’m doing? To correct my spelling? For a snuggle?). We have been getting lots of stuff done on the weekends to help out during the week—laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning. Andy has been cooking like crazy which has been super fun. He make a delicious meal of potatoes and salmon last week—his dad is an amazing cook so maybe Andy possesses some of those genes! I think we have struck a very good balance so far. I feel I’m still able to give Lu lots of love and attention, and I feel calmer after using my writing skills.
2) Lu is almost walking! She stands there and bounces and smiles, but no actual steps yet.
3) We had a spectacular Halloween party/beer tasting event! Andy and I were punk rockers, and Lu was a lion cub. We did not take pictures—lame lame lame us. We are terrible picture people, and may need a live in photographer. Luthien?
4) Andy is looking into PhD programs. We have a while to decide if it’s the best route but another good thing about my job is that it would definitely make him getting his PhD more possible. “Dr. Horner” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
5) Fall in Front Royal is gorgeous. Fall still surprises me on this side of the country since it is almost nonexistent in California. We have been feasting our eyes on orange, yellow, and red leaves. We finally went walking in the local graveyard and some of the trees were spectacular! We really need to get that photographer…

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Hello readers! After a bit of an absense I have some exiting news! I got a job! A local IT company hired me as a technical writer. It starts out at 10 hours a week but they are hoping to turn it into a full time position next year sometime. I work from home accept for the occasional meeting in office. Last week was pretty nuts because they asked if I could do 40 hours. I made it through but I worked a lot in the evenings when Lu was asleep. All I did the whole week was take care of Lu and sit at my computer typing away. When the position does go full time we are planning on getting a nanny two days a week, but I will be able to handle up to 20 hours a week.

I am really loving working. The work is interesting, I'm learning so much about IT, and I get paid to write! It's been really good for me to have a project outside of the mom stuff I think, and I it helps me to be more efficient with life in general.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have a new favorite baby carrier—the sling. This is the most classic of baby carriers and it is a favorite of baby wearers. Anyway, Maralee gave us a sweet tye-dyed one when Lu was born but Lu was done with the whole swaddling thing after about two weeks of life. The first time I put her in the sling she loved it, a couple of weeks later she screamed when I tried to put her in it. But a few weeks ago I tried her out in it again, in the hip hold position. It was pretty comfortable and she seemed pretty content in it. she has been getting a bit too heavy for the bjorn. The sling spreads her weight across my back and shoulders, and the bjorn feels like it is just on my shoulders.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Baby people

I never considered my self a baby person. Seriously, I remember being in high school and at some event all the girls would flock around the babies, and I didn't. It's not that I didn't like babies I just didn't really know what to do with them. I knew how to hold them, how to change a diaper, how to do general baby maintenence, but I didn't get the whole heart tug thing. Honestly, I didn't get the whole heart tug thing until seeing Lu's sonogram picture, then it really kicked in when she was born. It's weird thought I'm still not super attracted to other people's babies. I think part of it is that I haven't been around as friends have had babies, maybe when that happens I will feel the pull. But maybe I am just our own baby kind of person. Or maybe it's that other moms really make me nervous. I always feel like I'll do something wrong!

My guess is that it's more of an issue of knowing. I know Lu. I learned how to hold a newborn when she was born. I learned how to change her tiny diaper (although this took me a little while because Andy changed all her diapers during his paternity leave, what a guy!). I know that she is not as fragile as she seems, that she can be tickled and it will only make her giggle. I can tell when she is grouchy, I can tell when she is happy and feeling adventurous. I know she gets all excited when Andy comes home from work and she pulls on his legs until he picks her up and tickles her on the bed. I remember her learning to lift her head, learning to smile, learning to roll over, learning to crawl. Raising a baby is knowing a little person at their most vulnerable and caring for them. It is seeing all their tiny human accomplishements and wondering at the awesomeness of it all. It has been far more proufound than I thought it would be.

Little Calvin face

Luthie's Calvin face...

My Calvin face.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Feeding that kid

Speaking of changes in personality and stuff breastfeeding has been an interesting experience. I’m not going to go into too much detail but I want to shed some light on the subject of perceptions vs. reality of breastfeeding.

First from what I hear, my breastfeeding experience has been pretty easy. I haven’t had any infections or milk production problems. Overall we have had a good breastfeeding experience so far. It was hard to get used to, and was pretty exhausting at first, both emotionally and physically, but we have fallen into a good rhythm and Lu is just not as needy as when she was first born.

I grew up learning that breastfeeding, total breastfeeding was the only way to go. So it didn’t take much convincing to breastfeed. However, it is one of those things that nothing can really prepare you for, and is just one aspect of the all encompassingness of those early baby days.

There are many variations/intensities of breastfeeding. Some women partially breastfeed, supplementing with formula. Some women breastfeed exclusively for a while, then add in solids. Some mamas pump to stash some milk, or who want to breastfeed despite working (pumping really sucks by the way). along the way I came upon something called ecological breastfeeding which is a more extreme form of exclusive breastfeeding. Ecological breastfeeding does not allow any supplements, bottles or passifiers for the first six months. After six months there are still no bottles, or pacifiers but most start introducing solids.

Now I am all for breastfeeding, I think it is a great way to feed your baby and I have enjoyed it. but like our sleeping habits we’ve taken something of a combination path when it comes to breastfeeding. We knew that we would be taking a trip for our honeymoon when Lu was four months old. So when she was three weeks old I started pumping once a day and Andy started giving Lu a few bottles a week. At first, I felt weird about giving her a bottle even with breastmilk in it, but then Andy took me on a date for my 23rd birthday when she was six weeks old, and it was the best date of my life. After that I was a complete convert. If she wasn’t ever using a bottle there would be no dates until she was on mostly solid food, and who wants to go months and months without a date?

Before Lu was born I assumed that giving her bottles was somehow a bad choice. Breastfeeding is great and I am so grateful that it has worked out so well for us, since I know it doesn’t for some people, but if the baby never learns how to use a bottle then the mom cannot be away from baby for long until the baby is weaned. If I had done this it would make me really want to wean. I love spending time with Lu, but any parent needs a break sometimes especially from the demands of a baby. I highly recommend teaching baby how to use a bottle even if you never plan on using it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Personality and moming

Since we discovered Lu was coming into our lives I've had several people tell me not to "lose myself" once she was born. I've thought a lot about what that means and why people assume you are in danger of losing yourself once you have kids. Also I don't believe anyone ever said this to Andy (Andy, correct me if I'm wrong!) so apparently this losing of yourself only applies to women? I’m guessing that’s because usually (or at least traditionally) women have been the primary child care people. But still, originally Andy was going to stay home with Luthien, and I still don’t think anyone warned him not to lose himself.

Anyway, let me get back to the point. What is this losing yourself thing people talk about? I mean, I think I get it, I’ve seen people who have lost themselves in their kids--who talk only about their kids, and who only do kid activities. Although I’ve also seen people lose themselves in work, school, a relationship, sports, and many other things. Maybe it is more pronounced with kids because kids are so all encompassing, so all or nothing. And you can’t quit kids like you can quit football (at least no in good conscience). And after having a baby for a few months now I can certainly understand that feeling when all you’ve done all day is keep the kid at bay and you feel like a mindless zombie. But most days I still feel like myself. I still have hopes and dreams, I still laugh, I still am scheming a career up. I still joke with my husband, knit, write, make dorky attempts at humor. I realize that it is important for parents, especially new moms, to guard against, and some days I will lose myself. But I still have personality and I’m gonna work hard to keep it, because dang it I like being who I am, and I even like the changes motherhood has brought to my personality.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Grass is Greenest Here

Today is my husband's birthday. Yesterday he told me that he doesn't feel like the grass is greener on the other side of life anymore, that the grass is the greenest right where we are. I’ve never felt like that before, and it is awesome to know that we are in the right place in life. We have our frustrations, Andy’s commute sucks, and I want to find a job, but we are so happy and content with each other. This is the best time in my life, and it is thanks to Andy, my all star husband. So this is to Andy, he is the hardest working, most loving man I know, and I am so incredibly blessed to call him my husband. Happy 24th Birthday my love!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

TV, The Fish Tank, and Netflix

Lu and I with the tank in the background.

When Andy and I moved into our house we decided we wanted to cut down on our TV watching. We had both been noticing that most of our evenings ended up with us watching a few TV shows, and although I think it was a good way to chill out particularly when Lu was small and we were always exhausted, we both felt like we wanted to watch less. We want Lu to grow up playing in the dirt, climbing trees, making up stories, and doing as many creative things as she likes and TV does not encourage this. We also wanted to try and spend more time on our own hobbies, play games together, talk, read, and do lots of other non-TV stuff. Consequently, we started our salt water fish tank and put it right in the middle of the living room where most people put a TV. Andy gave up his 47 inch TV for the tank, and we put the one we have in the basement with some comfy couches. The tank has been awesome and we spend a lot of time learning about sea dwellers and working on the tank. Luthien loves it too.

We got the basic cable package and sometimes we watch the news. We also started using netflix and it has been awesome! We love seeing movies that we've been wanting to see but haven't had a chance too. I think our family spends more and better time together thanks to a lesser focus on the TV. Andy has been teaching me cribbage, we are both learning about fish, we are reading more. A good change.

Cloth diapering day I lost count: Our little clothy butt

We are officially cloth diaperers, although we certainly aren't as hard core as some. We now own 25 lovely, colorful pocket diapers and we are finally starting to use them at night (scary!). Andy is also totally on board and used them while I was in Minnesota this weekend.

I feel a great deal of satisfaction by using cloth, (and Luthien's diaper rash issues seem to be a bit better too) I feel like I am being thrifty and resourceful. We use disposables when we are out sometimes, and I'm sure we will use them traveling. We've had some leak issues (apparently Luthien qualifies as a "heavy wetter") but we've been doubling up on liners and it's been much better.

Not bad for two people determined never to use cloth!
My family is so cute.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cloth Diapering: Day 1

When I was pregnant I made Andy promise we would never use cloth diapers. I had always thought they were, well, icky. But now after using several hundred disposable diapers, and a good chunk of cash on them, we are trying out cloth.

I think seeing the sheer amount of diapers we were throwing away is what swayed me to give it a shot. I've always hated wasting things, and the idea of using the same set of diapers over and over appeals to me. I've also become much more environmentally conscious since Lu was born, because I want her to learn to be responsible and not wasteful.

So far the hardest thing about starting has been the sheer number of diaper systems out there! Prefolds, flats, All in ones, pockets...just a few of the many terms in the cloth diapering world, and let's not even get into the acronyms. I bought our first set of diapers a few weeks ago on ebay. Seriously you can buy anything on ebay. After some research, I knew I wanted some type of all in one diaper to ease the transition of disposable to cloth, and found some cheap ones on ebay. I was a little concerned that they made be poor quality, but after reading some good reviews, and eyeballing other all in ones priced at $25 per diaper (!) I picked Sunbaby diapers. They seem to be working great so far. We haven't had any leaks and Lu seems comfy. I'll let you know how the first washing goes, and the first overnight cloth diaper. If these work, we'll buy more (we started out just buying 10 to try it out) and save a bundle of cash, and save the world!
Luthien seems to like them!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Do kids make us happy?

I just read this article http://nymag.com/news/features/67024/?imw=Y&f=most-viewed-24h5

Basically, it hypothesizes that parents are less happy than those without children while they are in the throws of parenting, but are more nostalgic and fulfilled in retrospect. It doesn't delve whether those without kids are without kids by choice or due to infertility, and I think this is a very important distinction since infertility is, from what I hear, really hard. The article spends quite a bit of time discussing why parents hate parenting and although I can see their points I do find some holes in the article.

First, I don't think you should have kids in order to make yourself happy. Of course you don't want having kids to make you unhappy, but kids are not meant to fulfill their parents. This article seemed to be getting at this when it talked about how much pressure American parents put on themselves to raise perfect kids, rather than shooting for good kids. It would be exhausting to try and sculpt a kid into a perfect, all-star, straight-A, Ivy League Doctor or whatever, especially since they actually have a say in the matter and will ultimately do what they want. All parents can do is try and give them stability, love and guidance not turn them into superheros. I can understand wanting the best for your kids and I tend to think that Luthien is the smartest little baby that has ever existed, but I try to remember that she isn't my little project, but rather a little human that needs my guidance and love.

Another part of the article I object to is the idea that kids make marriages worse. In essence, it says that kids place quite a strain on a marriage, although it only discusses one type of family--one where both the mother and father work outside of the home, and wait until their mid thirties to have their first kid (and possibly last kid). I have only had a kid for a few months, but it is a bit of a shock in the personal freedom department, and I am still learning how to balance my needs and wants with Luthien's. It's been hard figuring out how to be married and how to raise a baby at the same time. I don't see the logic in the article on this point though. Facing and overcoming challenges in a marriage should serve to strengthen it, not weaken it. But this article seems to say that once a couple has children their relationship is only about the kids. I have seen this first hand, but I have also seen marriages that are still awesome and fully functioning with several children. I think couples have to be careful not to let their marriage slide after having kids, rather they need to use the challenges to strengthen and grow their marriage. It reminds me how important it is to make my marriage a priority. I think that because Andy and I will have dealt with this balance between marriage and children from the beginning we will be able to learn the necessary skills to keep both healthy. This isn't to say that couples who have children later can't do this, just that for us it is good to do it early on.

I haven't been a parent for very long, but so far when the parenting gets tough realizing that I am doing something so worth while makes it much more doable. The article stabs at this at the end, but only clumsily so. I would pick meaning and purpose to my life over being a CEO with ample vacation any day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weeknight date

Andy and I went on an impromptu date last night. When Andy got home from work we went to our favorite fish store to buy a coral. However, our fish store apparently had a problem, a little fishy apocalypse. Fresh water accidentally got into their salt water tanks and killed most of their coral, crabs, snails and a lot of their fish too. We sadly left the bombed out fishy oceanscape, and went out to dinner instead. I was craving Mexican food, and upon walking into our favorite Mexican place. They were having a special, $1.99 margaritas, glorious day! We had a delicious little dinner, watched Luthien be a goofball, and talked. A really sweet waitress kept coming and talking baby talk to Lu in Spanish, calling her “Little love.” We are so silly with each other, and I love it.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I have an idea. Actually it was originally Andy’s idea, but he gave it to me very generously. I might become a realtor. He saw that the agency we bought our house with was offering licensing classes, and was thinking about doing realty on the side. I didn’t think it would be good for him to work full time, go to school full time, and do realty, plus try to keep up with his wife and daughter…but then I thought “maybe I could do it.” Apparently real estate is an increasingly popular career move for parents who want flexibility to be with their kids. It tends to allow you to work from home. Also I loved looking at houses when we were looking and still look at them as we drive places.

If I do it I would start an 8 week class in a couple of weeks then take the Virginia real estate agent licensing test. I have a meeting tonight with a local agency to ask the manager some questions to see if the vision I have is reasonable. If it is this could be a great thing for me. Luthien is five months old, and as much as I love her, I don’t want to be just a stay at home mom. I get antsy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Parenting and all that jazz

Parenting styles: co-sleeping vs. crib sleeping, cry it out vs. cuddle to sleep, schedule vs. meeting baby’s every demand, cloth diapering vs. disposable, full breastfeeding vs. ecological breastfeeding vs. partial breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding (I need to do a post on just breastfeeding), and every other parenting decision out there. It’s all a bit insane. And each theory gives you the feeling that if you don’t do it THEIR WAY your kid will be messed up, and it will be YOUR FAULT! Huh, how awesome for us new parents.

First of all, in the parenting materials I have read you hear a whole lot about SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, basically this is when a baby dies in their sleep for an unexplained reason. It is thrown around in parenting materials like mad.

For instance, sleep—there are basically three camps, co-sleepig, crib sleeping, and some inbetwenny crib attached to bed type sleeping. Co-sleeping proponents say that their method helps bond you to the baby, get more sleep, breastfeed efficiently and ultimately prevents SIDS. Crib sleeping proponents say that your baby will die if it sleeps with you, and that crib sleeping encourages independence, more sleep for the parents, more sleep for baby, and better scheduling. The inbetweeners say you get the best of both. There are hardcore camps for every baby issue there is, from eating to diapers to toys. And do you notice the DEATH THEME? Great, as if new parents aren’t scared enough they are told that if they make one wrong move their little baby will die. I realize some babies really don’t make it, and this is tragic, and we should make sure we understand how to keep a baby safe, but for those things where conflict lies, listen to you doctor/midwife, maybe your mom, and your own gut feeling.

I haven’t been a parent for very long, but we realized quickly that we weren’t going to be strictly following one particular parenting philosophy. We go with what our gut instinct is and with what works. It’s a tricky balance between listening to the rest of the world and doing it how works for your family. I also think that the individual child has a lot to do with it, although for me this is mostly theoretical since I only have one kid. But crib sleeping may be perfect for one kid and not for another. I’ve used the example of how a baby sleeps through this post because I think the way we do sleeping perfectly exemplifies our parenting style. We started out co-sleeping, but at some point decided we wanted our bed back to ourselves, so we started setting Lu down in her crib when she fell asleep in the evenings. Since she is sleeping for pretty long stretches at night this usually means she falls asleep around 7:30pm at night and sleeps in her crib until about 4:30am when she wakes up hungry. At this point, either Andy or I stumble through the hall to her room, pick her up and deposit her in bed next to me for a lay-down, go-back-to-sleep feeding. (FYI lying down breastfeeding has been instrumental to our parenting sanity, particularly the first few weeks after Lu was born). Then I fall back to sleep while Luthien has her little night time snack, and she falls back to sleep after eating. Then she sleeps with us until we wake up in the morning. This system started mostly on accident. We wanted our bed back so total co-sleeping was out, but the first time Lu woke up hungry I just pulled her in bed with us and went back to sleep while she ate. So we aren’t against co-sleeping or crib sleeping, we do both, this combination just works for our lives, and for Luthien. I'm as she gets older it will change to fit her needs and our needs.

I think it’s interesting that the method that works for us is a combination of two divided sides. I also know that this method might not work for a different baby, or a different couple. I also know that I’m tired of being told that I am going to hurt my child if I don’t subscribe to some particular parenting philosophy.

This is Luthien at five months and she is happy, healthy, and super active despite our lack of a hard a fast parenting rule.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Married names

I'll admit it, I have residual feminist tendencies, and you know what? I think it's a good thing. I don't feel like I need to be an executive, or become a sharp shooter to prove myself, but I do believe in the equality of men and women, while maintaining that the sexes have their own strengths and weaknesses (very generalized but true). However, it really bothers me when someone refers to me as Mrs. Andrew Horner. I love being Andy's wife, it is intrinsic to my identity. I love that we are united, and yes I took his last name to show my connectedness to him, and the unity of our family. However, personally being referred to as Mrs. his name, makes me feel like my only identity in that name is Mrs. and um, I still exist on my own too. I realize that this may be more traditional than anything else, but it really irks me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Hair

So a few weeks ago I noticed my hair seemed to be falling out. Well, not really falling out, but there was a whole lot more coming out than usual in the shower and when I brushed it, and it was noticeably thinner. Apparently this is common postpartum issue. I already have thin hair, and haven't done much with it since the wedding. I used to have my hair short in high school and really liked it, so I went for the chop. Here is the new cut (it looks so much thicker and healthier! I also found a stylist in Front Royal I really like)...

Pretty BA.

Emotional Closeness

Have you ever had someone share too much with you? Have you ever had someone tell you personal things when you know you aren’t on that level? It’s an uncomfortable feeling. I recently was in a situation where someone I was acquainted with told me many personal details about her life. I was struck by the lack of awareness it showed. Now perhaps she just really needed someone to talk to, and I think I come off as fairly easy to talk to, but it made me feel weird all the same. I like to listen to people and I like to offer any knowledge I have, but I felt that this crossed the line.

I know part of my confusion is that I err on the other side of not sharing enough. It takes me a long time to share personal stories, and ideas. I wait and wait, to trust people enough to tell them important things about me. Andy is much better about this, he will share earlier than I will, but still guards himself. I take longer to trust people.

So what is the line of sharing? Or is it just different with different people?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Father and Daughter

House decorating

I am not really a detail oriented person. Andy notices the nail that you can kinda see from the side of the clock. I do not see it. For our wedding, I think we spent a total of $30 to decorate our reception. I figured it was already in a cool old mansion with books and lamps, why spend a ton on flowers, lights, tinsel(???) whatever, when I knew that I wouldn’t even see it. As it turns out this was a good call. I never even saw the tables of food I was so busy talking, dancing, and looking at Andy. And if anyone missed major decorations? Well too bad.

Now we are trying to get our house looking snappy, and my non-decorating eye is having a hard time doing it. However, I’ve been thinking about personality and how our personalities drip into everything we do. So our house is starting to look like Andy and I, well not literally, but our personalities are seeping into our house. We’ve bought a lot of our decorative items at flea markets and thrift stores, and we’ve really found some cool stuff. We have several old kerosene lamps, which are very cool looking. Just this past week I bought several funky, asymmetrical class vases, and they look super artsy together. I am really liking glass. It reminds me of jewelry. This house decorating thing is a good chance for us to show our personalities no matter how quirky.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I’m building an exersaucer, or rather following the directions (mostly the pictures) included. Luthien is in need of some bigger baby entertainment. She loved her bouncy seat up until a few weeks ago, and it was my go to whenever I needed to keep her contained. I would plop her in it in the bathroom while I took a shower or did dishes. But lately she has been rolling like a maniac, and a few days ago I put her in it in the bathroom while I took a shower. About half way through the shower, she started yelling so I peeked out from behind the shower curtain and she had tried to roll over while in it and mostly succeeded. She was laying on her tummy with her lower half hanging over the edge precariously and yelling because she couldn’t figure out what was going on.

Anyway the seat has some straps that I tried out on her, but then she just immediately starts yelling because she can’t move. She is a very determined little person. After she hung out with her grandparents for a week while we were on our honeymoon we realized she needed a walker, or an exersaucer as I have learned they are called, and today I am putting it together. Hopefully it will be a while before she tries to climb out of this one.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Car victories

Today was a pretty hectic day but I would say it ended quite well. I did some work on our insurance and some serious research/thinking on what my next life/job move will be. I'm looking into becoming an etsy vendor, but still have some work to do in order to give it a shot. I'll keep you guys updated. Luthien was pretty chilled most of the day, but she has a nasty rash beginning in the diaper area. She got lots of naked time which she loves.

Andy has a rougher day than me. We've both been up late the last few nights, but I often go back to sleep for a little bit after he leaves at 5:45am. He was given some rough hours at work the next few days, and had a generally stressful day.

But, I found out our car insurance will only be about $40 a month, rather than $110 (as it was in DC). We have to finish getting the car registered here, but we both were really happy to hear that about the insurance. Plus the insurance dude I talked to was super nice. Also, on a role of good car happenings, after work Andy took the car in for an oil change and the car guy installed our new headlight (we busted it a few weeks ago) for free! What an awesome random act of kindness!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I have many, many things to catch up on, and many many things to blog about (the Wedding, Luthien, my career, family, Lost). But I don’t want to do it all at once so I’ll go slow.

So many of the things that “ need for a wedding” we just said to hell with. And you know what? I am so glad we didn’t put work/money into stuff that wasn’t important to us. I think we spent maybe $20 on reception decorations, and the place looked great!—old and mansiony exactly as it should. I kept thinking I needed to do something decoration wise, but my heart just wasn’t in it, and I’m so glad I resisted. The things we put effort into—food, alcohol, my dress, dancing, the actual ceremony—all came out amazing and were so meaningful. And the bridesmaid dresses? Let me tell you these caused me some angst. I was very attached to letting the girls choose their dresses while still having them look cohesive. I really didn’t know how they would all look together and I had this horrible feeling that while I was getting married someone would be looking at my girls and thinking “why don’t their dresses match?” but as soon as I saw them altogether I knew it was perfect. All the girls looked great but also very much like themselves, and they just looked like they were all on the same team. It was so great.

But aside from any of this stuff, I am so happy to be married to Andy. It was about time. I’m so glad to have us all hitched and settled, now it’s time to keep adventuring together…Oh the places we’ll go!
*Photos by Jim Holmes (http://www.jimholmesphotography.com/).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Lu was baptized on Sunday! She slept through the whole thing. Nathan (the godfather) and his fiance Sarah came out for it which was fun too.

The little girl

Luthien gets so excited now when we put her on her tummy. She picks herself up on her arms and kicks her legs and yells! She wants to move so badly.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sick little baby

After her immunizations yesterday, Luthien had a little fever, and her legs were sore. We had a rough evening. Poor little girl was all hot and every time her legs would brush against something she would cry. Finally she fell asleep on me completely exhausted.

But this morning she woke up, her fever was gone and she was all smiles! I love her little gummy smiles.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

She's growing! no really!

We had a doctor's appointment today. Luthien got poked and prodded and she got her shots. She screamed, but now she's sleeping peacefully. The pediatrician was very surprised when she looked at Luthien's weight/height. Here are the stats:

Luthien at birth: 6 lbs 4.5 oz
At birth: 19 inches
At birth weight at 10th percentile
At birth length at 30th percentile

Luthien currently: 12 lbs
Current: 23 inches
Currently weighs in at the 70th percentile
Currently measures at the 50th percentile

The pediatrician said I must have great milk :) cool.

Monday, April 5, 2010


My dad and Silvia visited last weekend. It was sweet.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DC is becoming a frozen wasteland

So the storm has not subsided yet. It has been nuts all day and there have been raids on the tiny grocery store in our apartment building. We are going a little stir crazy, but I have had a chance to try a little cooking. I made stir yesterday, and I'm working on beef stroganoff tonight. I also made some afternoon banana bread which made the apartment smell delicious. We've also taken some great pictures of Luthien the best of which is unanimously...

Peace everyone!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Day!

We had a snow day today! Yes, I am on maternity leave so really, I wouldn't have gone to work anyway, but I have a bunch of errands to do that I wasn't able to do today due to the weather. But, today Andy got to stay home and we had a relax today. I don't think we've had such a chilled day since before Luthien was born. We are starting to get the hang of baby care I think. We certainly aren't experts, but we are learning. If work is canceled for Andy again tomorrow, I think I'll attempt to make banana bread in our moody stove.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The baby is here as of sixteen days ago. I suppose eventually I'll have to start counting her age in weeks, but so far its been days. I think we are slowly adjusting to having a baby around. Of course, it helps that every time we look at her we want to make the world perfect for her. Seriously, every time she wakes me up at night, no matter how stupid tired I am, one look at her little face and I'll do whatever she needs.

Yes, Luthien has been and will continue to require a lot of sacrifices from us, but she makes them easy to do with her innocent eyes and endearing helplessness.
Also it is amazing seeing Andy as a dad. He is an extremely caring one. I know he will never be a stranger to our daughter.

The childbirth experience was...well hard, and painful, but also very blessed on reflection. It meant so much to me to have Andy by my side the whole time, and we had an awesome midwife. I loved the birth center and would recommend it to anyone who is not having a complicated birth. I am not a fan of hospitals, but having her at home would have been a little too intense for me. And I am up for having more kids eventually, so that shows it really wasn't too bad. All those years of cross country definitely helped me out!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Our epic squirrel feeding adventure...the squirrels outside of the White House are quite tame, and we decided to test exactly how tame...

This one ate out of my hand, which I tried after Andy tested the waters.

This one loved Andy so much, he tried to go home with us. Another one actually bit Andy, apparently thinking he was made of nuts.

New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2009 was a good year for you. It was an incredibly eventful and blessed year for me, and I feel the first half of 2010 will be finishing all that was started in 2009. We will have the baby soon, and get married in May. Once we reach June, it's just continuing to figure out how to live, no huge, life-changing things to plan.

Andy and I go back to work in the morning. We are both feeling a little grumbly about it, but it has been such an awesome year, that I really can't complain. We spent a lot of time reading, and just being lazy, doing the things we never have time to do. We went to a sweet New Year's eve party with some of our co-workers as well.

Yesterday, and today we embarked on an intense cleaning/organizing of the apartment. Apparently we both decided it was time to nest at the same time, and we are very pleased with the results. Our apartment is looking great with a few new pieces of furniture. We both feel organized in anticipation of the baby. We even packed our bag to take to the birth center, and Andy installed the car seat base. Essentially, we could have the baby at anytime, and we'd be good to go, although it would be better for her if she waited a few more weeks. We are both quite anxious to meet her.

This is Andy and I hanging out with Emily in a very cold DC over Christmas. This was taken before we fed the squirrels, which was terrifying.